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Build a Web Game in an Hour with Visual Studio and ASP.NET

This article is part of a web development series from Microsoft. Thank you for supporting the partners who make SitePoint possible.

This article discusses:

Basic game development philosophy

Using Web technologies for game development

Adding game controls and AI

Technologies discussed:

Visual Studio 2013 Pro, Visual Studio 2013 Community, ASP.NET

Code download (.zip)

You don’t need an entirely new skill set to develop games. In fact, your current Web development skills in HTML, JavaScript, CSS and so on are just fine for a wide range of games. When you build a game with Web technologies, it will run on pretty much any device with a browser.

To prove this, I’ll demonstrate building a game from scratch using Web technologies and just two external libraries, and I’ll do it in less than one hour. I’ll cover a variety of game development topics, from basic design and layout, controls and sprites, to arti­ficial intelligence (AI) for a simple opponent. I’m even going to develop the game so it works on PCs, tablets and smartphones. If you have some experience with programming as a Web developer or another development domain, but no experience writing games, this article will get you started. If you give me one hour, I promise to show you the ropes.

Get Up and Running

I’ll do all development in Visual Studio, which will allow fast execution of the Web app as I make changes. Be sure to have the latest version of Visual Studio so you can follow along. I used Visual Studio 2013 Pro, but updated the code with Visual Studio 2013 Community. Also if you have a Mac or Linux, Visual Studio Code is available cross-platform nowadays.

This app will require no server code, so I start by creating a new, empty Web page project in Visual Studio. I’ll use the empty C# template for a Web site by selecting the Visual C# option after selecting File | New | ASP.NET Empty Web Site.

The index HTML file requires just three resources: jQuery, a main style sheet and a main JavaScript file. I add an empty CSS file to the project called style.css and an empty JavaScript file called ping.js to avoid errors when loading the page:

<!DOCTYPE html>
  <script src=""></script>
  <script src="ping.js"></script>
  <link rel="stylesheet" href="style.css"></script>

Also don’t forget to test this app (or any other) for that matter across browsers & devices. While the code I wrote is interoperable with modern browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, it’s always a best practice to double-check. Now you can do that with free virtual machines and other tools like

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